Westley hits back at Boro critics

Stevenage boss admits he will struggle to name a full squad for Saturday’s match against Tranmere Rovers

STEVENAGE manager Graham Westley has hit back at claims his team employ overly-physical tactics to win matches.

Boro’s style of play has often drawn criticism in recent seasons from various managers – usually after their team has been defeated – stating that Boro play an unattractive and often dirty brand of football. However, Westley says this notion is a myth, and that opposing managers criticise his team to deflect condemnation from themselves.

“It’s been a very difficult week on the training ground,” said Westley. “We’ve had a lot of injuries and we’ve had as few as 12 out there so I can’t guarantee that we’re going to get 16 together for the weekend.

“It’s been tough – we’ve taken a lot of knocks – and I think I saw a stat this week that we are the most fouled against team in this league. And when you listen to all the chat that people put out there about Stevenage this, Stevenage that – to think we’ve had more fouls against us than any other side says something about the way teams are going about their work against us. It shows what a threat they see us as and the difficulties they have in defending us.”

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When asked if more work is being done on the training pitch with regards to their attacking play after three successive goalless draws in the league, Westley feels his team have been unfortunate not to have earned more points than at present.

They currently boast the joint second best defensive record in League 1, and although things haven’t gone as well at the other end of the pitch, Westley says there isn’t a major problem in that department.

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“There’s no denying that we concentrate on getting our defence right but you don’t win games if you don’t go forward, so we spend as much time on the training ground hitting the back of the net as we do defending.

“So far this season we’ve done better with our defensive play than our attacking play. But add the penalties [that we’ve missed] to what we’ve scored then we’d have more points and be in a much better position.”

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